warns of repeat of 2018 new year’s massacre
By Peter Duru
Makurdi—The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has raised concern over the sudden influx of herdsmen into Benue State, warning that the state is facing the prospect of a repeat of the 2018 New Year’s day massacre that claimed several lives in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of the state.
Benue State chairman of CAN, Akpen Leva who expressed the fear yesterday in Makurdi, said he had received reports from across the state that herdsmen were moving in droves into the state in defiance of the subsisting grazing in the state.
He said “as I speak with you now, I am receiving reports that herdsmen are coming in their numbers in Agatu and several other Local Government Areas, LGA, of the state.
“I gathered that they are coming in because they heard that the military operation code named Operation Whirl Stroke is pulling out of our communities so they are moving in to take over.
“This is the situation and there is fear of a looming attack in the state, that is why we are sounding the warning now that if nothing is done we might have a repeat of the New Year’s Day massacre in the state.
“The Federal Government has to suspend the plan of winding down the operation for now until normalcy fully returns and the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, are resettled. We recall that the federal government had promised to resettle the IDPs when the Vice President visited the state in 2018 and up till now nothing has been done to have the people return to their ancestral homes.
“Without the federal government doing that, we cannot really say peace has fully returned in the communities because a people who are displaced and taking shelter in camps are in pains and not at peace with themselves let alone with others.”